The Best Christmas Ham Recipe for Holiday Cheer


For many, ham is a Christmas day tradition.

Our family enjoys a holiday ham annually and, whether you serve it Christmas Eve or wait for the big day, it is a holiday dinner so many look forward to experiencing every holiday season.

If you’re in search of the best Christmas ham recipes, I encourage you to give this one a try.

Here are a few things to remember to help you prepare the best ham for your holiday table even if it’s your first time.

Christmas Ham Cooking Tips

You can serve ham at room temperature.

Because many people purchase a precooked ham, such as the spiral ham and honey baked ham many of us are familiar with, serving your ham at room temperature is acceptable practice.

If you prefer a warm ham, however, it is okay to reheat it. And, if you want to serve your ham with a delicious glaze like the molasses glaze below, you’ll need your ham to spend some time in the oven.

Just don’t over cook it.

If you are working with a precooked ham, you want to ensure you don’t allow it to spend too much time in the oven. The key to a juicy ham is not overcooking it when it’s time to glaze and serve it.

It takes a little effort to achieve a perfectly caramelized, sticky glaze.

The molasses glaze is a sweet glaze that adds the perfect touch to the saltiness of the ham. Getting the glaze to stick outside of the ham means opening the oven frequently while cooking to reapply the glaze. You should baste your ham about every 15 minutes while it cooks in order to achieve the best glaze.


8 to 10 Servings

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour 25 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 55 mins


Christmas Ham:

1 7-9 pound smoked boneless ham

½ cup molasses

2 oranges (1 zested, both juiced)

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (divided)

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits:

nonstick cooking spray

2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes)

1 and 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk (cold)

1 cup sweet potato (peeled, grated)

Honey Butter:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)

6 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


For the Christmas Ham:

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

Place ham on a rack in a roasting pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the molasses, orange zest and juice and 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard over the ham. Brush the glaze over the ham and place in the preheated oven, brushing with remaining glaze every 15 minutes. Cook for about 1 hour, or until ham is warmed through and the internal temperature registers at 140ºF.

For the Biscuits:

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Grease a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, kosher salt and baking soda. Add the honey and shortening and use your fingertips to pinch it into the flour to form small, pea-sized pieces.

Grate the butter on a box grater or use the shredder attachment on a food processor (preferred). Drop the cold butter shreds into the flour-shortening mixture and toss until all of the pieces are separated and coated.

Add the buttermilk and sweet potato to the flour mixture. Mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the dough forms a shaggy ball and there are no dry bits of flour left. The dough should be slightly sticky.

Lightly coat your work surface with nonstick cooking spray, then flour. (The spray keeps the flour in place.) Transfer dough to the prepared work surface. Lightly coat your hands with flour and gently press the dough with the heels of your hands to form it into a smooth flat disc, 1/2-inch thick. With a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut out dough rounds. Flip the rounds over so that the smooth sides that were against the work surface face up and place on the prepared pan, 1-inch apart. Stack the scraps and press and cut again. Refrigerate until cold, about 10-12 minutes.

Bake without opening the door, until the tops are golden brown and crisp, about 16 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving the biscuits hot. Serve with honey butter and honey on the side.

For the Honey Butter:

In a medium bowl, add the butter, honey and salt. Stir mixture with a rubber spatula until all ingredients are fully combined.

To Serve:

Slice the ham on a cutting board and serve alongside flaky buttermilk biscuits spread with honey butter.

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